Archive for June, 2013

Just about everyone loves chocolate. It is a component in many delectable and decadent desserts, and it could also be added in a few savory dishes. Life with chocolate is definitely much sweeter. But what many pet owners don’t understand is – why is chocolate toxic to dogs?

If you are a pet owner, it is natural that you would want to share the things that you find pleasurable with your loyal canine friend; and this includes indulging in chocolate. However, before you give your pet a chocolate bar or maybe a dessert that’s primarily made of such substance, you must stop yourself. There are two components in chocolate that can lead to medical problems or even the death of your beloved pet, and these are caffeine and theobromine, which are generally found in cacao seeds. Both elements are not only poisonous to dogs but to cats as well.

Are All Chocolates Toxic to Dogs?

There are different kinds of chocolates, and each type will affect your animal differently. The reason for this is that the concentration of caffeine and theobromine vary depending on how a certain type of chocolate is prepared. For instance, milk chocolate has the least concentration of the two toxic elements, which means that it will require a dog to eat more of the same in order to get poisoned. As for semi-sweet, dark and baking chocolate, these are more concentrated. So, a dog can experience adverse reactions even when it only ate a small amount of such types. In animals, death by chocolate happens when there is respiratory failure or heart irregularities.

Since chocolate is not toxic in small doses, some people give their pets milk chocolate as treats. What could one piece of M&M do to your bulky St. Bernard, right? The problem here is that if you allow your pet to eat chocolate, it will develop a liking to it. Another issue here is that dogs cannot properly discern if they are eating milk chocolate or the more concentrated dark or baking chocolate. So, the danger here is that something bad will likely happen to your pet especially if it finds a bag of chocolate and gorges on the sweets.

Signs of Chocolate Toxicity

There are several signs that indicate that your dog is experiencing chocolate poisoning. You’ll observe the following – nausea and vomiting; increased breathing or heart rate; increased temperature; and low blood pressure. More alarming reactions are seizures, weakness, coma, and cardiac arrest.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When you see a large, empty and decimated bag of dark chocolate on the floor, check your dog as soon as possible. If it is exhibiting signs of toxicity, bring your pet to the vet as soon as possible. The vet will perform a thorough physical check-up together with other tests, including blood and urine examinations. Electrolyte levels are also checked.

Oftentimes, chocolate toxicity is treated in the same manner as caffeine overdose. In order to remove some of the poison from the animal’s stomach, a gastric lavage can be performed or vomiting can be induced. Activated charcoal can also be introduced into the system as this absorbs the poison too. Treatment will be based on the symptoms. For example, the dog can be given meds to reduce nervous system excitation if it is experiencing palpitations or rapid heart rate. Support is provided to the respiratory and cardiovascular system if needed.

Citations:
Featured images:

Claire Miller is a freelancer who has written for many clients, including Miami Vet. Her articles often tackle issues regarding animal health, and she hopes that these will provide people with more info about how to properly take care of their pets.

ID Chip Or Tag For Your Pet?

Many years ago the only way you could ID your pet was to hang a metal tag around their neck. Back then, these tags were made from materials that were quite heavy so, if you had a small pet, it wasn’t always easy to get the information you wanted over the whole tag.

Soon after, a different type of tag was introduced. These were little plastic barrels with a piece of rolled-up paper inside that held all the information someone would need if they found a lost animal. However, for anyone that remembers these and has cats, you will probably recall just how many times you had to replace them.

Cats lead (largely) a fairly secretive life and they get into all sorts of places where a lightweight tag like this could easily be pulled off. So, for lots of manufacturers it was back to the drawing board.

Technology Now

Now, technology has moved on and pet tags in the UK come in all manner of sizes, weights, shapes and colours. You can have lightweight metals, enamel and all manner of other tags that can easily be engraved with the information someone will need if they find your pet.

Manufacturers are able to keep the comfort of your pet in mind as well as produce tags that will hold all the information you need. This is especially important for dogs. It’s illegal in the UK to have a dog without some form of identification.

Micro-Chipping

Micro-chipping your pet has been around in the UK for some-time now and it will actually become law to have a dog micro-chipped in the coming years. However, as many benefits as there are to doing this, there are still a few questions that are being raised by pet owners.

If your pet does become lost and someone who is not familiar with animals comes across them, they may not be aware that because your pet is not wearing a tag, they can easily be identified at a local vet or police station. Instead, they will just think the animal is a stray and go about their business.

As it stands at the moment, micro-chipping can still be a little expensive compared to a pet tag so many people will opt against having it done and there can also be an issue if you change your address. If this happens, you will need to have all the paperwork amended and it may mean another trip to the vets for your pet.

Of course, this sort of identification will help with reducing the problems which occur with animal theft and puppy farms so it should be welcomed as a way of identifying an animal.

Pet Tags

Quite honestly, this sort of tag is something that will never go away. Pet tags in the UK are not just there for vital information about where your pet lives, it’s also a way in which you can accessorize your fluffy little friend.

These days, tags like this are not uncomfortable for your pet to wear in fact; they are so lightweight they won’t even know it’s there.  There isn’t one responsible pet owner on the planet that isn’t proud of their animal and when you receive approving looks or those little “oh, doesn’t she look cute” comments, it makes your heart swell. Tags like this are not just for identification, they’re an accessory just like a bracelet for a human being.

Even if you have your pet micro-chipped, they are still a great way of expressing yours and your pet’s personality simply because of the diversity of designs that are available today.

Sarah Fox has both cats and dogs, and having them all micro-chipped would have cost a small fortune. For this reason she uses pet tags UK to let everyone know who her pets belong to and how individual their personalities are.

Your curious pup is likely to get into all kinds of trouble, letting his nose guide him as he explores from one place to the next. He may try to eat some delicious looking berries that end up being poisonous. He may find himself face to face with a raccoon. He may step on a piece of glass or other debris and cut his paw.

There are a wide number of scenarios that could lead to your dog becoming injured, perhaps even seriously. It is important to have a first-aid kit on hand for your dog, both to provide basic first aid for minor wounds and to provide first-line medical treatment in order to buy him more time during an emergency.

Here’s a list of items to include in a first aid or medical kid for your dog:

  • Cotton balls
  • Gauze in a variety of sizes and thicknesses
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Medical tape
  • Peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Benadryl
  • Aspirin
  • Mineral oil
  • Clotting agent to stop bleeding
  • A splint
  • Eye wash
  • Ear wash
  • Thermometer
  • Latex gloves
  • Leash and muzzle
  • Blanket
  • Extra towels and wash cloth
  • Heat packs and ice packs
  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Veterinary information and emergency numbers

This kit should be kept in a waterproof box and stored somewhere that will be easily accessible. It should be kept in a common room in your home where you can grab what you need from it quickly. If you leave home often with your dog, you should also keep a kit in your car.

It is worth looking into taking a first aid course for pets. You can learn how to administer basic medical care in an emergency and the right steps to take to get help. You will learn what to do in common scenarios such as poisoning, animal attacks and injured limbs. By knowing how to act quickly and appropriately, you can increase your dog’s chances of a swift and complete recovery.

Also make sure that your pet is microchipped and always wears a collar with his name and contact information on it. If he has wandered away from home and becomes injured, he will be more likely to be given medical care if others know that is a kept dog and not a stray. Having this information available will also make it easier for others to contact you in the event of an emergency so that you can be present and make the right health care choices for your pet.

What do you have in your first aid or medical kit for your dog? Share your “must haves” and how they have helped you in the comments!

About the Author:

Bridget Sandorford is a freelance blog and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching the culinary arts degree offered at culinary schools in United States. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

Tips For Travelling With A Pet

If you’re planning a vacation this summer and are considering taking your pet with you, there are various things you need to weigh up first before making that final decision.  Here are some essential tips on travelling with a pet.

Your destination

The aspects you’ll need to consider when travelling with your pet on holiday depend on where you are going.  If you are travelling in your own country, then the considerations will be different than if you are travelling overseas, for example.  However, any journey could be potentially stressful for an animal, so no matter how far you are going, early preparation is the key to ensure everything goes smoothly and the experience is as stress-free as possible for you both.

Travelling in your own country

If you’re taking a vacation in your own country, then you’ll need to make sure you have an appropriate carrier for your pet during the journey.  Introduce the carrier to your pet some time before you travel, so they become familiar with it.  Put one or two of your pet’s favourite toys or a blanket inside the carrier so they feel more comfortable with it.  If you are travelling by car, it’s a good idea to take your pet on short trips beforehand in the car, so they get used to travelling this way.

Always bring plenty of food and drink supplies, as well as your usual pet care products.  Never leave your pet unattended during the journey, especially in a hot car, as this may cause them distress.

Avoid feeding your pet during the journey as it might make them feel uncomfortable.  Stick to a light meal about four hours before travelling.

Going further afield

If you’re taking a vacation overseas, then ideally you should consider leaving your pet at home, in a boarding kennel, for instance.  Overseas travel with an animal can be costly and requires a lot of consideration, so only take your pet with you if necessary. The rules and conditions vary depending on whether you are departing from an EU country and travelling within the EU, or whether you are travelling out of the EU.

If you’re travelling by air, always check with the airline some time beforehand on their individual policy with regards to bringing a pet.  You’ll need to use an authorised carrier.

You’ll also need to arrange for your pet to be seen by a vet for an examination.  Your pet will require a microchip, rabies vaccination, an official veterinary certificate or pet passport, and other treatment depending on the type of animal.

You will need documentation to prove that your pet fulfils the necessary requirements.  It’s worth contacting the embassy of the country you are visiting as well as departing from, to get the vital information you’ll need.

Other considerations

Travelling with a pet will mean you’ll need to allow more time for the check-in process, so allow at least three hours before departure time.  If you’re travelling by air, try to choose a direct flight.  Clearly label the pet’s carrier and its collar with your details on it.

Some pets will be allowed to travel in the cabin, but others will need to travel as cargo.  This depends on a number of factors, such as type of pet, height and weight of the pet, individual airline’s policy, whether the pet is trained to assist passengers with disabilities, etc.

When you arrive at your destination, examine your pet to make sure he or she is ok, and if in any doubt, consider calling a vet.

Crispin is a huge pet lover and knows how stressful travelling with a pet can be. His one must have travel item is a waterproof dog bed if you have a dog.

Barking Dogs

Any dog owner can tell you that barking dogs are not appreciated – especially by neighbors! At the same time, barking is a perfectly natural behavior for a dog. It’s how they communicate. It really only becomes a problem when a dog barks excessively or at the wrong time (like 2 am when people are trying to sleep).

Why do dogs bark?

Dogs bark for different reasons at different times.

  • To warn you (There’s someone at the door!)
  • For attention (Pet me!)
  • In frustration (My ball is under the sofa and I can’t get it!)
  • To Play (Let’s play! Tag, you’re it! Bark bark bark! HAHAHA You can’t catch me!)
  • When they’re anxious (You left me here all alone. Where are you?)
  • When they’re bored (Bark Bark Bark.) This is often done to hear the sound of their own voice.

Humans appreciate some of these reasons more than others. If your dog barks to tell you there’s a stranger at the door, we usually appreciate it. If your dog barks to tell you the trash people are stealing your stuff again, it’s not as welcome. If your dog barks in frustration because there’s a squirrel on the patio, well, most people aren’t terribly interested. Boredom and anxiety, however, require some attention from you. If your dog is bored then you need to spend more quality time with him. He probably needs more exercise. And you can see that he gets more toys and safe things to chew on so he will have something to do.

Anxiety is a more serious problem and beyond the scope of this short article. If your dog is barking because he’s anxious he could be displaying other signs of anxiety or separation anxiety. This could require a trip to the vet and possibly some behavior modification work.

Stopping excessive barking

There are several ways to stop excessive barking but the best way is usually to teach your dog the “Quiet” command. You can do this, ironically, by also teaching your dog the “Bark” command.

You’ll need plenty of small treats to teach these commands. You can use something like pieces of kibble or small training treats, or even small cut up pieces of hot dog or chicken.

You can wait until your dog is barking at something or have a friend do something that usually makes your dog bark (like ring the doorbell). When your dog starts barking, give him the “Bark” command and reward him with a small treat. Your dog won’t have any idea what the command means or why you are rewarding him but if you do this repeatedly your dog will catch on. He’ll figure out that you are rewarding him for barking. Keep doing this. Eventually your dog will start waiting for the “Bark” command before he barks. Sneaky, huh? If he’s waiting for the command he’s not barking.

All you have to do now is teach him the “Quiet” command. Give him the “Bark” command so he barks and reward him. Then when he’s quiet give him the “Quiet” command and reward him. Repeat. It really is as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of practice but once your dog figures it out, you can control your dog’s barking.

It’s very easy to teach these commands if you are using a clicker so you can “mark” the exact moment when your dog does what you want him to do but you can still teach the commands even if you’re not using a clicker.

Want To Water Ski With Your Dog?

If you check out Youtube you’ll find lots of water skiing dogs but none of them does it any better than Chibi Williams.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKe1H7Nkd7w

 

Born to be wild, indeed!

Chibi, who lives in Florida with owner David Williams, not only water skis (technically wake boards), but also rides a motorcycle. (We wonder if Chibi has a driver’s license?)

According to ABC Channel 7 in Tampa, Chibi was part of a litter or pups that was euthanized but Chibi somehow escaped and ran away. Williams found the puppy and took him in. Since that time Chibi has been having a blast with his owner, taking every opportunity to live life.

 

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/bizarre&id=7655008

Notice that Chibi wears a life jacket when he goes in the water.

There’s also a famous dog in Chicago who loves to water ski (wake board). Duma not only water skis, she drives the boat!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4jsUAoZwGA

How cute is that!

Duma is a Jack Russell Terrier. Owner Cliff Bode says Duma took to driving the boat naturally. She doesn’t like getting wet very much which gives her an added reason to stay on the board when she skis.

Note, again, that Duma is wearing a life vest when she’s on the boat and around the water.

Does this look like something that your dog would like to try? Lots of owners do take their dogs water skiing and boating. Many dogs love the water and boating activities. If you do want to try some of these activities with your dog remember to stay safe.

  • Make sure your dog wears a life vest.
  • Teach your dog to swim.
  • Practice boating safety for yourself and everyone on your boat – that means wear life jackets; take a boating safety course; and don’t boat and drive. Plus, try to keep your dog from moving around the boat a lot. You don’t want him to fall in the water.

Play it safe and you and your dog can have a great time boating or water skiing this summer. If your dog takes up water skiing or other fun water activities, let us know. We’d love to hear about what you and your dog are doing. Send some pictures, too!

Even if you and your dog stay safely on the beach, take some cute pics and let us see how you’re enjoying the summer. Remember to use sunscreen on your dog if you have a hairless breed, a white dog, or a dog with very thin fur. Dogs can sunburn, too! Be careful of heat stroke, too, especially if you have a short-nosed (brachycephalic) breed like a Pug, Boxer, or Bulldog.

 

 

Traveling With Your Dog

dog with suitcaseIf you’re a dog owner then you’ve probably taken a trip with your dog at one time or another. It’s safe to say that some dogs enjoy traveling more than others. Many dogs love to travel and will actually bring you their leash when they see you packing or climb in your suitcase. You may have a hard time going out the door without taking your dog with you! But some dogs are not as happy about traveling. They can get carsick, for example. Planning ahead can make your trip with your dog go as smoothly as possible.

Practice when your dog is a puppy

It’s a good idea to get your dog used to traveling in a vehicle when he’s a puppy. Some puppies never have any trouble in the car but some of them get nervous. They may get carsick which is just like motion sickness in humans. They can vomit or have a case of diarrhea – even if you take a drive around the block. If your puppy is prone to carsickness there are a couple of things you can do to help him get over it.

  • Try giving him some ginger snaps or a spoonful of honey before getting in the car. These old-time remedies will often help settle his stomach.
  • You can use one of the flower remedies made from flower essences that is said to help with carsickness. Many people say these remedies are effective if given to the puppy or dog shortly before you go for a drive.
  • Spend some time playing with your puppy in the vehicle when it’s not moving. Let your puppy get used to the car as a fun place so he won’t feel nervous when you start to take him somewhere.
  • Try lowering the window so he gets some fresh air when you take him for a drive.
  • Take your puppy on short drives to help him get used to the motion of the vehicle – although some puppies can get sick even on a very short trip.
  • Use a crate for your puppy or dog. A crate not only protects your puppy or dog in case of an accident but it also minimizes the motion of the vehicle. Your puppy won’t be rocking from side to side every time you make a turn. Plus, if your puppy does get sick, it’s easier to clean the crate than your upholstery.
  • Provide your puppy with some toys and safe chews to keep him distracted while you drive.
  • Be sure to praise your puppy and offer him a treat when you stop the car. Let him know that taking a ride is fun.

 

Even if these strategies don’t help your puppy, most puppies do outgrow carsickness eventually, though they might not ever be thrilled about car rides.

Longer trips

If you are planning on taking a longer car trip with your dog, there are some things you should think about ahead of time. Most states require a health certificate for dogs crossing state lines. You might not ever be asked to show it, but you could be, especially if you are stopped by police for any reason. A health certificate is usually good for 30 days and can be obtained from your veterinarian. It will state that your dog is up-to-date on all of his vaccinations and is considered to be in good health. You should also be sure to have your dog’s rabies certificate with you (or a copy of it).

Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with his rabies tag and his other license tags. Your dog should also have a collar or tag with identification information such as your name and a contact phone number in case your dog escapes from the car while you are traveling.

If your dog should get loose while you are traveling, it’s easier for him to be returned to you if he is microchipped. Your vet can insert the microchip – which lets people contact an organization that can get in touch with you – for a small fee. You have to make sure that you keep the contact information up-to-date so if your phone number or address changes, you need to inform the organization that keeps track of your dog’s microchip.

If your dog takes any kind of special medication, make sure you take it with you on your trip. You will also want to take your dog’s food, feed bowls, bed, and special toys. Some people like to take some water from home to avoid upsetting their dog’s stomach. Or you can use distilled water or buy some bottled water for your dog.

Again, when you are taking a longer trip with your dog, it’s best if you use a crate so your dog will be safe in case of an accident.

With a little planning you and your dog can have a great time wherever you travel. Happy trails!

Image credit: damedeeso / 123RF Stock Photo

My dog, Brutus, is pampered like a small child. I have made sure that he gets the best of treatment. I guess that was not enough because I sensed he was restless about something and that’s when I started searching for answers. I stumbled upon a simple fact that I had so easily overlooked that Brutus needed a cozy spot of his own where he could retreat. He needed his own BED! My immediate reaction was to look out for “dog beds” how difficult could it be? It was time for my second shock. Did you know that there are varieties of dog beds you can choose from?

I have tried to compile them hoping to cover if not all then at least most of them as it might prove useful for you and your pet.

Standard Dog Beds

It looks more like a cushion or pillow sans the edges or rims. You can find them in various shapes, sizes and colors. They are filled with polyester and/or foam padding in round, oval, rectangle and square shape.

Nest Dog Beds

If your dog likes to curl up or lean back then nest dog beds is your best bet. It is similar to standard dog beds, with the advantage of having raised edges. They look more like sofas or couches with its soft cushion intact. You can either have all sides raised like a box or raise one side and let your dog take support against it. Many dogs- both large and small find these beds comfortable.

Donut Dog Beds

Let your dog curl and sink in the cuddliest bed possible. Donut beds are made of round or oval shape with soft materials. The bed is designed in such a manner that it is enclosed to provide dogs a specific place for curling rather than tossing around the whole bed. It is ideal for big dogs but old or weak dogs might find it difficult.

Orthopedic Dog Beds

If your dog is growing old, suffering from arthritis, joint pain or any other kind of orthopedic problems, then these beds are made exclusively for them. These beds are also recommended for thin and bony dogs like Greyhounds and Whippets. Extra care is taken while preparing it to ensure that your dog feels comfortable. It is made up of high quality thick foam that provides extra support to their body and relieves joint pressure.

Kennel Dog Beds

These beds are made to fit kennels and crates of different shapes and sizes. It comes handy for dogs that normally prefer spending their maximum amount of time in a kennel or crate. What can be a better option than converting their best place to a cozy comfortable bed?

Covered Dog Beds

It appears more like a house or tent and works as a hideout and retreat place for your dog. The bed inside it either has plush bedding or a standard bed place. It has been noticed that small dogs, generally prefer these types of beds.

Heated Dog Beds

Heated beds can be highly therapeutic for dogs having achy joints. These beds work like heating pads or electric blankets, protecting them from the cold climate. It has an internal heating element that needs to be plugged into an outlet, which in returns provides warmth to your dog. If you are in a cool region and want to give your dog a warm and peaceful sleep, then this is your best bet.

Phew! Exhaustive list, isn’t it? Now that you know that there are so many types of beds available, you can decide the best one for your dog.

 

Author Bio-

This article is written by Jessica Reynolds, a freelance writer, a travel enthusiast and a not so proud owner of a spoilt pug who she loves more than anything in this world. She says even though she has brought one of the finest dog beds for her dog still he likes sleeping beside her.

Signs Of Poor Quality Dog Training

Having your dog professionally trained is usually a good thing to do if you want a well-balanced, healthy dog.  However, like with anything else, not all dog trainers are created equal and not all of them will be a good fit for your dog.  It’s a good idea to learn how to recognize the signs of poor quality dog training so you can look elsewhere and get the job done right.

No Improvement

Perhaps the main sign that the dog training you had wasn’t up to par is no improvement in the issues you wanted fixed in the first place.  If the trainer made it clear that the behaviour issues would be corrected as part of the training and everything is the same after it is completed, the quality of the dog training wasn’t as high as you’d like.

Intimidation or Fear

If your dog finishes up with the dog training and seems intimidated or fearful of loud voices or noises or sudden movements, the dog training was of low quality.  Well balanced, happy dogs are relaxed and won’t seem afraid when you try to provide guidance.  Fear is a big inhibitor in the learning process, and if the trainer has used intimidation or fear as part of the dog training, the dog probably won’t have learned very much.

Bad Timing

If you have a chance to watch the trainer in action and his timing is all off, that is also a sign of poor quality training.  With dog training, it’s important to make a correction or guide the dog to a proper action immediately when the behaviour happens.  If there is any hesitation or premeditation in the correction, the dog isn’t going to be able to connect the dots.  Even with positive behaviours and rewards, if the timing isn’t right you are only rewarding the wrong behaviour.  It’s essential to act when the dog will understand the message, or the message is lost.

Treating It Like a Human

No self-respecting dog trainer would ever treat a dog like a human, but if you ever use one that does, it’s time to look elsewhere.  Dogs are not human, they are dogs and you have to relate to them like a dog if you ever hope to have them obey you and follow you as the pack leader.  Anyone that speaks to them like a human or treats them like a human in other ways is only asking for trouble and a poorly behaved dog.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: depositphotos.com/

Gina Mitchell knows the importance of hiring a reputable dog trainer. That is why she only relies on Bark Busters for all her dog training needs. For more information, visit their website now.

Enjoying The Water With Your Dog

dogwatersafetyWhen warm weather arrives people naturally begin thinking about ways to enjoy the water. Many dogs also enjoy the water. While not all dogs are natural swimmers, most dogs can learn to swim if you take the time to teach them. Here are some things you should know about enjoying the water with your dog and water safety.

Can all dogs swim?

Many dogs take to water like, er, a duck. Labrador Retrievers, Portuguese Water Dogs, Newfoundlands, and other breeds were all bred for water work and you may have a hard time keeping one of these dogs out of the water. But that doesn’t mean that every little puppy or dog knows how to swim as soon as you take him to a lake or pool even if he belongs to a water breed. You should always introduce your dog to water slowly and carefully. Better safe than sorry, right?

In addition, there are some breeds which just don’t do well in the water because of their body shape. If you have a Pug or a Bulldog, for example, it’s not a good idea to let your dog go in the water. Their large heads and proportionally small bodies are not conducive to swimming. Many brachycelphalic breeds fall into this category.

Water safety

There are a couple of things you can do to help your dog stay safer in and around the water.

  • First, if you intend to let your dog go swimming or if your dog will be on a boat, get a life vest or life jacket. These vests work exactly the same way that human life vests work. Your dog wears one when he is in or around the water so it will keep him floating. They come in all sizes and styles. Try to choose one that’s a bright color so your dog can be easily seen if he goes in the water. It’s also a good idea to choose a vest that has a handle on the dog’s back so you can lift him into a boat from above if necessary.
  • Second, if your dog will be spending any time around a swimming pool, be sure to teach him how to get out of the pool. Every year dogs die because they can’t get out of pools. Sometimes a dog will fall into a swimming pool without the owner’s knowledge and the dog can’t find a way out. So, take the time to get into the pool with your dog and show him where the steps are and how to get himself out of the pool.
  • Third, teach your dog to swim. If your dog will be spending time on a boat or around a pool, teach him to swim. Do not toss him into the water and assume he can figure it out. Instead, go in the water with him and teach him. Some dogs will be natural swimmers, but some aren’t. You can teach your dog to swim in shallow water when there are as few distractions as possible. Stand beside your dog and place your arm under his body. Hold his head out of the water with your other arm. Don’t rush him. Let him get used to the water and start to dog paddle. Most dogs will catch on in a few minutes but keep providing your dog with your support until he is swimming on his own.
  • Finally, whenever your dog is in the water, make sure you are nearby. You never know when something might happen and your dog will need your assistance.

If you practice good water safety then you and your dog should have a great time in and around the water. Have fun!
Image credit: damedeeso / 123RF Stock Photo